What is a running assessment?
A running assessment is a method of assessing the way in which you and run. This can allow us to identify biomechanical (the way you move) faults that could be increasing your chance of sustaining an injury or limiting your running performance. Would you like to be a better runner, prevent injury? Then, a running assessment is for you!
Who should have a running assessment?
A running assessment can be conducted on an injured or un-injured runner. In an un-injured runner, we can identify muscular imbalances or biomechanical compensations which may be limiting your running performance and economy. By fine-tuning small details, we can improve the way a runner performs. Things we look for during a running assessment include overstriding, ground contact time, leg stiffness, and vertical oscillation- all important factors when looking to enhance running economy and performance.
A running assessment can also be applied to an injured runner- where we can see how an individual is loading up injured structures and how best to manage running whilst treating the injury simultaneously.
What will we do?
- Perform a full physical assessment
- Identify any running technique errors (such as foot placement, weight shift, range of movement used) that may hamper speed, endurance or energy efficiency
- Identify faulty biomechanics that may lead to running injuries (some common injuries are: ITB friction syndrome, anterior knee pain and shin splints)
- Consider whether your footwear and/or your orthotics are suitable to your foot type and running method.
- We capture video footage of you running, in different relevant planes of movement (side on, from behind or in front) and at various speeds either on a treadmill or on a running track.
- Thereafter, we use sophisticated computer software to measure ranges of movement, stride, tilt angles, contact angles and other important information, to frame by frame, analyse your technique.
- We provide you with a comprehensive and relevant report detailing the relevant problems that we have identified and provide a treatment or rehabilitation strategy to restore optimum function.
- This may involve considering movement correction, stability, strength, flexibility, or footwear modification and insoles.
- Provide you with a programme to apply the interventions discussed alongside your personal trainer or running coach.
We usually recommend a reassessment of your technique after an agreed period of time to determine whether your technique has improved, and thereafter modify your program if required.
What can I expect?
A running assessment comprises of three stages:
- Goal Setting & Running History– this is where we will discuss your running goals, in terms of where you are and where you want to be, as well as taking into consideration running history.
- Bed and Functional Assessment– this is where mobility and strength will be assessed. Areas of weakness will be addressed and identified. You will be provided with an exercise programme to complete for 2 weeks prior to the final stage of the assessment.
- Running Assessment– this will be completed two weeks following stage 2. Using video analysis, data will be recorded whilst running on a treadmill.
Here’s example of running technique before and after a biomechanical run assessment:
On the left image, there is clear overstriding- this can lead to increase contact time with the ground, which in turn increases the load going through the lower limbs on contact. The right image shows impact being made closer to the body, which in turn reduces forces going through the lower limbs making running more economical and also reducing chances of picking up an injury.
Book an assessment today to see one of our running experts, but in the meantime here some great videos from a few of our experts: